Tag Archives: work

I should be blogging

I should be, I really, really should be.

I even have a rare free evening tonight.  No plans with friends or with The Beau.  No working late.  Most evenings, when I’m not busy, I work out, which for some reason takes far more time than it should.  Get home, feed the cat, do a couple things around the house, then it’s 7pm and I finally get on the treadmill.  An hour there, then stretch, cool down, wind down, and it’s already 9pm.

But no workout tonight, since I had a laser treatment today and am not supposed exercise afterward.

What to do, what to do…

I could blog!

Or, I could make Bacon Caramels!

Okay, Bacon Caramels are done, now I can blog.

Or, I could finish sewing an eyemask!

Okay, done with that, now I can blog.

Or, I could watch the Bacon Caramels set!  (Hurry, set, hurry, so I can eat one.)

Oh, crap.  It’s after 10.

Maybe I’ll blog tomorrow…

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Better off?

I’ve heard it said that most people are better off after a layoff.  They’re happier, they have a better job, and they’re richer, if not in monetary terms then in life.

While I was upset I was laid off, I was also excited.  It was a kick to the butt.  It was the shoehorn needed to get me out of the company I was at for seven years.  I was going to write a book, find a better job, make more money.

Well, I did get some writing done, but not as much as I wanted.  I found a job, but is it better?  I’m not getting paid more, and in fact, considering the lack of benefits, am being paid less.  And it’s a contract job, so I have, essentially, more guaranteed unemployment to look forward to at the end of the contract term.

I don’t love this job or this company more than my old one at this point.  Did I love my old job?  No, but I did enjoy most of it, and there were still things I felt I could learn.  I knew the company wasn’t the best, but leaving means taking your chances on another, unknown entity.

The company I’m with now is a great company, and if I were full time permanent I would be ecstatic.  But I’m not.  I am, regardless of anything else, a second-class citizen.

It’s what you make of it, I know.  And I’m trying to make the best of it.  But right now?  No, I don’t feel that I’m better off.

Back to Reality

After six months of being unemployed, I have a job.  It’s not perfect – I’m basically a contractor – but it’s got its plusses.

It’s a job with a large, well-known, global, Fortune 500 company (one of the top 100 companies to work for).  People have left jobs with benefits to work for the company as a contractor, without benefits, for the chance to get their foot in the door.  It’s that big a deal.

I admit, I was quite hesitant at first.  Yes, it’s a foot in the door, but the pay was much less than what I was expecting, and it’s a contract position.  So, I might be unemployed again in a year, and I’m not sure if I’ll be able to collect unemployment at that point.  And, of course, no benefits, which sucks.  But…it’s a job.  At least, that’s what  people keep telling me.  I’m trying to be optimistic.

I just finished up my second week, and I feel like I’m catching on.  I think my last job provided a good base for what I’ll be doing.  I’m comfortable with the ideas behind the job requisites, although some of the terminology still eludes me.  But each company has its own language dictionary.  I’m ready to jump in with both feet, if they’ll let me, and so far they have.

It’s funny what sticks with you.  When I sit down at my computer to log in, I automatically start typing my old password from seven months ago.  I’m putting everything in terms of what I know (this role at this company is like that role at that company), which I’m not sure is a good or bad thing.  It helps me understand it better, but maybe it’s the wrong understanding.  I guess I’ll find out soon enough.

Getting up at 6AM again hasn’t been too difficult – in fact, it’s been surprisingly easy.  Surprising because while unemployed, regardless of how hard I tried, it was impossible to force myself out of bed before 9AM.

Finding time to do my own thing, however, has so far been surprisingly difficult.  Not sure why I’m so surprised by it, but I am.  Obviously, I don’t have as much time to work out, read blogs, watch TV… I had no idea there were tornados in Alabama until 2 days after the fact, and I’ve barely even caught of glimpse of Kate’s dress.  I’ve been doing the bare minimum on my smartphone, keeping up with email, some blogs, and facebook.  Not sure what that says about me…  (I have now downloaded the CNN app, so hopefully I can stay a little more up to date on the news. Of course, the new beau has also gotten me addicted to Stupid Zombies, so I’m not sure I’ll get much news reading done…))

Coffee? Tea?

PBair female flight attendant at work on board...

Image via Wikipedia

Years ago, while I was living in Dallas, I briefly considered becoming a Flight Attendant for Southwest Airlines.  A brief look into it revealed very low hourly pay – about $8/an hour. 

Fast forward ten years, and I’m unemployed.  Several friends, separately, have suggested I look into becoming a flight attendant – evidently, they think I would love it and/or be perfect for it.  I admit, I think I would enjoy the lifestyle, but I still had that $8/hr figure in my head, and I also know that a Flight Attendant’s “hours” include only door close to door open of the airplane – in other words, they don’t actually get paid for the time people are boarding and deboarding, only for the time spent separated from the terminal.

Both Delta and US Airways have announced openings for flight staff in the past couple of months.  And the position pays about $20/hr.  I admit, I seriously thought about it.  But then I got onto some of the message boards and found out more information.  Like, the fact that most FA’s have second jobs, just so they can support themselves.  Many FA’s only log 80 hours a month – 80 hrs x $20/hr = $1600/mo.  Pre-tax.

And then there are those pesky passengers, you know the ones.  The ones who don’t quite grasp the concept of their chairs and traytables being in their full upright position.  The ones that can’t seem to understand that when the pilot turns on the “Fasten Seatbelt” sign, it’s probably a good idea to Sit Your Ass Down.  The ones who think that they are the only person on the airplane, and because they want to do XYZ, they should have the right to, since they “paid for the damn seat.”  This is one case that I would probably better to be able to handle the privileged set in First Class, because at least they have less to complain about.

So, yeah, no, I’m good.  Until I have no need for more than $1000/mo net, I’m going to pass.  But maybe one day…

What I’ve learned so far about unemployment

  1. “What am I going to wear today?” takes on an entirely different meaning.  (Short yoga pant?  Long yoga pants?  Or am I sticking to pajamas today?)
  2. You very quickly lose track of what day of the week it it.  (Is it Friday?  Thursday?  Saturday?)
  3. Your severance package gets taxed as a bonus.  (How jacked up is that?!)
  4. Doing stuff around the house all day, barefoot, actually kind of makes your feet feel a little bruised.   (Note to self:  wear shoes.)
  5. Not having to go to work is pretty nice.  (If only there wasn’t that pesky little “No Income” issue…)
  6. The guilt felt for leaving your desk in complete disarray lasts for approximately…3 seconds.  (Still wish I had thought to delete a couple of highly important emails…)
  7. You fight the urge to turn the TV on for company because you worry about how much your power bill will go up if you have the TV on every day.  (And you’re more diligent about turning off lights…and not using the a/c unless you’re sweating…)
  8. Then you realize you can finally listen to all the NPR you want, streaming on the internet (since you don’t have a home stereo…).
  9. Not working does not exclude you from acquiring stress headaches.  (Duh.)
  10. Even though you’ve sworn not to think about it until next week…(well, you know that’s impossible!)

The first day of the rest of my life

This year has really been shit all around.  And I feel bad saying that, because part of this year hasn’t been all that bad.  The first two months were, obviously, difficult.  March and April were…okay.  Most of the summer was pretty good, actually – really not a lot to complain about.

But yesterday.  Yesterday was…well, I don’t want to say bad.  It could be really great, I don’t know yet.  The world is wide open at this point.

Yesterday we had our third (or is it fourth?) layoff this year at work.  And this time I got hit.  After seven years with the company.  Seems sales are low, so they’ve decided to lay off roughly 15-20 support staff.  While they’re hiring approximately 20 new salespeople.

My question, of course, is who the hell is going to do all the work once these people actually start selling?  And if the current 60 sales people can’t sell anything, what makes you think the new 20 will?

Well, I don’t have to worry about that anymore.

I’m okay.  Really.  At least that’s what I’m telling myself right now.

Ask me again later.

I know that this may get me out of my rut.  That it may lead to something truly amazing.  I get that, I’m all over that.  But in the meantime, I have the worry of being a single-income household, with no one else to help cover..mortgage…power…gas…food…

But I’m not thinking about that today.  I’m doing what I planned on doing today anyway.  I had already planned on taking today, tomorrow, and Friday off to essentially bulldoze my house.  So that’s what I’m doing.  I’m thinking only about what to keep and what to send to Goodwill.  I’m not thinking about next week.  Or next month.

Just today.

In the meantime, I have some really great friends.  I called my friend geauxgirl when I left work yesterday, about 10:45.  “How do you feel about having a drink before 11am?” I asked.

She instantly knew something was up, agreed to a drink without hesitation, then I told her I had been laid off.  She left work and was at my side immediately, and all day.  She and her husband have been there for me more than once, and I appreciate them more than they know.  I don’t know what I did to deserve such solid friends! (Love you guys!)

And now, how about a little joke?

This is the first time I’ve been laid all year!  🙂

Groan away.

Under Pressure

I’ve found that I tend to do best under pressure. Deadlines don’t stress me out, they bring out the best in me. I’ve always been this way, all through school, especially college, and now, at work.

I was a history major in college, so I always had a ton of multi-page research papers to write. I would write some of it early on, but then would wait until the night before it was due to pound it out. And I always got A’s. I perform well under pressure, focusing, becoming more decisive and concise, and my mind doesn’t wander as much.

Same thing now, at work. The more I have to do, the more I get done. If I have 25 things on my plate, I’ll get 20 done. If I have 6 things on my plate, I’m lucky to get 1 done. I think, oh, I’ll get to that in a minute, because there’s plenty of time and not too much to do. But I never actually do get around to it.

I do it at home. Oh, I know I need to vacuum, and mop, I’ll get to that later. Then, I’m expecting guests, and I get it all done. And I wonder why I don’t simply Do It when I think of it.

I’ve tried imposing deadlines on myself, but they just don’t work. I know it’s not a “real” deadline, so I don’t perform as well. I need an actual solid, valid deadline, with true consequences, to fully perform. I’ve tried imposing monetary rewards and consequences on myself, but (a) I don’t have the money to reward myself properly, and (b) if I fail, I simply won’t pay myself the consequence. It’s not real.

My mind wanders too much when I’m not busy. That’s why I’ve been considering a second job. Just something to keep me active, with the added bonus of helping me pay off some bills. But the only place I’m interested in working is a bookstore. I don’t want to wait tables, I don’t want to work “regular” retail. I figure, if I’m going to be working an extra 20-30 hours a week, I at least want to do something I don’t hate. And being surrounded by books all the time, I would love that.

Also looking at possibly taking a class at the community college. Maybe Basketweaving? Kidding, of course. I’d love to take a photography class, but alas, I’m still lacking my Dream Camera. I could take something that would “further my career” in order to be reimbursed by the company. I’m thinking about some legal classes, that would fit the bill.

I’ve been planning on doing NaNoWriMo  again this year. I have a ton of vacation days I still need to take, so thought I would use some then. And I do better with things like that, brings out a little bit of my competitive spirit.

What about you? What kinds of rewards and consequences do you impose on yourself to get things done? Any suggestions on how to impose personal deadlines on myself?

My life’s okay

Blog post in haiku:

My life’s okay,

Have Job, Home, Food, Health, Friends –

It could be worse.

Seriously. I realize that there are people far worse off than I am, and that my problems and issues don’t add up to spoonful of the heaping mess that some people deal with.

I’m employed, and have money in the bank, and can pay my bills and have some spending money. I own my own home, and don’t have to worry about where my next meal is going to come from.

I’m college educated, have reliable transportation, electricity and running water.

I am healthy, disease free, with no real physical or mental limitations.

I’ve never had a man hit me. I’ve never had to deal with date rape or unwanted pregnancy or a psycho stalker. I’ve never had to deal with divorce and custody battles and child support. I’ve never had to deal with the death of a child.

I have a loving family that I get along with quite well. I have friends who care about me, who would (and have) jump in their car in the middle of the night to rescue me from the side of the road, who would offer me a place to stay and food and clothes off their back if I needed it.

I know all this. Which is why I feel really bad when I have my “Woe is Me” moments. Oh, boohoo, I can’t afford a trip to Europe. Oh, boohoo, I can’t afford a new car. Oh, boohoo, my boyfriend cheated on me and dumped me (although, does it count as being dumped if he just disappeared?). Oh, boohoo, I don’t get to go out to eat as often as I would like. Oh, boohoo, some days I don’t like my job very much. Oh, boohoo, I can’t run 3 miles in 30 minutes.

Boo-freaking-hoo.

I get it.

Doesn’t mean I don’t want things to be better.

The head can say it all day long, yell and scream and shout through a bullhorn, but the heart, the soul, the core of you doesn’t always listen, or pay attention to reason.

Sucks, don’t it?

What do you boohoo about, even though you know it could be worse?

Dating in the Workplace

In general, I think that dating in the workplace is a bad idea. A very bad idea. That’s not to say I haven’t done it – I have. But I haven’t done it in over ten years now. Because when things go bad, they can go really bad.

Where I work, there are many, many couples. Just within my department, I can count 12 people off the top of my head who are married to or dating someone else within the company.

I’ve used the “I don’t date people I work with” excuse multiple times in the past. It’s a handy excuse, especially for when you simply are not interested in the person. Earlier this year, I found out this very, very sweet man I work with was interested in me. He’s a very nice guy, and he’s not unattractive, but I was simply not interested. I kept giving my “I don’t date people I work with” excuse. He was nice and understood.

Recently, I’ve started getting to know this other guy. We kept running into each other in the hall, and he kept looking at me like he knew me, and we would exchange pleasantries. Then, a couple of weeks ago, he emailed me (I had left a note on the soda machine that it ate my money, and he was commenting on that), and we’ve been emailing each other about once a day since then, just random chit chat, getting to know each other.

I don’t know if he’s flirting or just being friendly. I asked one of my coworkers about it, and she said he’s just really nice and is just being friendly. I had another coworker read a couple of the emails, and she thinks he’s flirting.

The other day, he said that maybe we could go grab some lunch one day after he gets back from his business trip next week.

Um…

It’s so silly, because if this were a woman, I wouldn’t think twice about it, and neither would anyone else in the company. But because it’s a man, I have to wonder if this is “just coworkers having lunch,” or if it’s a date. And, regardless of what it is, gossip at work would definitely be of the more lascivious version.

All that being said…I could see the possibility of me being interested in this guy. I’m not sure why – he’s totally not my type. But there’s something about him. Some sort of pull, from before I even knew his name, from just those hallway smiles and hellos.

So if this has been him flirting, and if this lunch is more date-like, what am I going to do about it? I still don’t think dating in the workplace is a good idea, even though he and I never deal with each other.

How about this for an idea: I stop f-ing thinking about it and not worry about it until it actually happens, which it very well may not. That’s me, always thinking too far ahead and trying to sort it out in my head before it even happens. What’s the phrase? Borrowing trouble?

What about you – What are your views on workplace relationships? And, any advice on dealing with this guy if he has, in fact, been flirting?

Blog post in Haiku:

Your opinion: 

Dating in the workplace- 

Good idea or bad?

Wardrobe Malfunction

Are you a wordpress member?  Yes?  If you don’t read the wordpress announcements that pop up on your dashboard, then you probably missed the little blurb they did about plinky.

I’m going back through some old plinky prompts, finding the ones that spark my interest.  The prompt for January 21, 2009, was:  Describe any wardrobe changes you make when you get home from work…

Funny, considering I was just talking to a friend about this today.  How, the minute I get home, I absolutely MUST remove Every Single Article of Clothing I’m wearing.  Every last stitch.  Hair goes up in a ponytail, of course – I think that goes without saying. 

I think that’s why I don’t have a lot of cat hair all over my clothes, because I don’t lay around in my clothes.  After I remove all my clothing, and take care of pottying (because, even if I just pottied when I left work 20 minutes ago, I absolutely MUST go again the minute I get home…TMI?  Sorry…), I wash my hands (mama raised me right) and put on either yoga pants or pj’s.  And that’s fine.  It’s not clothes that bother me, it’s work clothes.

And I don’t wear suits and pantyhose to work!  I wear jeans, and capri’s, and sandals.  Very casual.  But they are WORK clothes.

Sometimes, even if I’m going back out in half an hour, I still have to take my clothes off, only to put them back on again before I leave.  They’re just so…claustophobic!!

So, what wardrobe changes do you make when you get home from work?